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Innovation and Firm Growth over the Business Cycle

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Abstract

This paper investigates how the macroeconomic business cycle impacts the empirical relation between firms’ innovations and their sales growth rates. Based on firm-level panel data over the time period 1995-2014, the paper finds no visible sales growth differentials between firms in booming economic environments. In the economically difficult times of recessions, by contrast, innovative firms show significantly higher sales growth rates than non-innovative firms. This finding is in line with Schumpeter’s (1939) business cycle theory, where recessions play an important role in the adaptation of the economy towards innovative products and processes. Moreover, the paper shows that small innovative firms, profiting from their higher organizational flexibility and stronger entrepreneurial commitment, are the main beneficiaries in this adaption process.

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  • Andrin Spescha & Martin Wörter, 2016. "Innovation and Firm Growth over the Business Cycle," KOF Working papers 16-413, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich.
  • Handle: RePEc:kof:wpskof:16-413
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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.3929/ethz-a-010726288
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    1. John Haltiwanger & Ron S. Jarmin & Javier Miranda, 2010. "Who Creates Jobs? Small vs. Large vs. Young," Working Papers 10-17, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    2. Archibugi, Daniele & Filippetti, Andrea & Frenz, Marion, 2013. "Economic crisis and innovation: Is destruction prevailing over accumulation?," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(2), pages 303-314.
    3. Philippe Aghion & Philippe Askenazy & Nicolas Berman & Gilbert Cette & Laurent Eymard, 2012. "Credit Constraints And The Cyclicality Of R&D Investment: Evidence From France," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 10(5), pages 1001-1024, October.
    4. Coad, Alex & Rao, Rekha, 2008. "Innovation and firm growth in high-tech sectors: A quantile regression approach," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(4), pages 633-648, May.
    5. Brambor, Thomas & Clark, William Roberts & Golder, Matt, 2006. "Understanding Interaction Models: Improving Empirical Analyses," Political Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 14(01), pages 63-82, December.
    6. Spyros Arvanitis & Marius Ley & Andrin Spescha & Tobias Stucki & Martin Wörter, 2014. "Auswirkungen der Finanz- und Wirtschaftskrise von 2008 aus der Sicht der Unternehmen," KOF Analysen, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich, vol. 8(4), pages 35-50, December.
    7. John Haltiwanger & Ron S. Jarmin & Javier Miranda, 2013. "Who Creates Jobs? Small versus Large versus Young," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 95(2), pages 347-361, May.
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    Keywords

    Innovation; Firm growth; Business cycle; Firm size;

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